Welcome to the Philosophy Department

The Department of Philosophy is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences http://www.gvsu.edu/clas/  and offers both a Major and a Minor in Philosophy.

The Department counts 21 full-time faculty members working in a variety of specialties.

The Department's international faculty is made of active scholars who are committed to undergraduate education. They are at Grand Valley to share their expertise in a wide variety of philosophical schools, national traditions, historical periods, and specialized areas of philosophical work.

The curriculum is designed to provide a foundation of solid understanding of the history of philosophy, but also to encourage students to pursue work in their own areas of interest. Formal coursework is only one part of the Philosophy student's education. Since inquiry and study are most fruitful when conducted in a vital community of fellow scholars, the Department is committed to offering a number of excellent learning opportunities that go beyond traditional classroom structures.

You May Contact Us...


John Uglietta, Unit Head

Christine DeMichieli, Office Coordinator

Contact us:
Mackinac Hall B3-105
Allendale, Michigan 49401
Email: phidept@gvsu.edu
Tel (616) 331-2114
Fax (616) 331-2601  

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Call for Papers: Ethics, Practical Reasoning, Agency: Sellars' Practical Philosophy

For Information


. . . the fundamental principles of a community, which define what is ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘done’ or ‘not done’ are the most general common intentions of that community with respect to the behavior of members of the group.

Wilfrid Sellars, Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man

w. Sellars' Pic

CALL FOR PAPERS: Calvin University and Grand Valley State University present The 8th Joint Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Calvin College Logo

APRIL 3-4, 2020

Location: Grand Valley State University PEW Campus, Grand Rapids, MI




SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Only papers written by undergraduate students will be accepted. All papers are subject to blind review. Please include a SEPARATE title page AS A SEPARATE FILE with name, title, and institution. The SEPARATE paper FILE itself should include the paper title and a short abstract, but no name or name of institution. Submit COVER PAGES AND PAPERS as SEPARATE attachments in PDF/Word format to Professor Andrew Spear at: speara@gvsu.edu. Papers should be prepared to be read within 30-40 minutes. Each paper will be assigned a student commentator.





Friday, February 7th, 2020

INFORMATION: The conference is free of charge and open to the public. We accept papers on all topics of philosophy. For further questions about the conference, contact Zach Tenney at: tenneyz@mail.gvsu.edu.








ABOUT: Calvin and Grand Valley’s philosophy conference is a two-day event held each year to promote excellence in philosophy. In addition to keynote lectures from leading contemporary philosophers, the conference provides students an opportunity to present and receive rigorous feedback on their own work in the form of formal comments from a peer, as well as a Q&A.



KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Cristina Lafont, Northwestern University


“Democracy without Shortcuts: The Democratic Ideal of Self-Government and the Problem of Blind Deference”


This year, we are honored to welcome Dr. Cristina Lafont, Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University, as our Keynote Speaker. She works in critical theory and hermeneutics, but her current research is mainly in political philosophy, particularly on questions of democracy.





Dr. Cristina Lafont

Featured GVSU Alumni

Professor Jessica Lefort, GVSU Philosophy Alumnas, Joins Michigan Law's Legal Practice Program


Professor Jessica Lefort joins Michigan Law's Legal Practice Program

Legal News - September 19, 2019

Eastern District of Michigan. Lefort received her BA in philosophy from Grand Valley State University and her JD, summa cum laude and Order


Emily McKenna, GVSU Alumnas and Local Artist

Emily McKenna  holds the position of School & Community Programs Coordinator at Krasl Art Center, as well as being a member of the Teaching Faculty. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Visual Studies and a Minor in Philosophy from Grand Valley State University. McKenna was one of the artists featured in the article, 

Two Key Local Arts Leaders Headed to Rising Leaders Cohort  

Moody on the Market - October 8, 2019

Department and Student Activities


gvsu philosophy colloquium events

 Visit Philosophy Colloquium Event Page


gvsu philosophy club specila event

Visit Philosophy Club Event Page


gvsu Ethics Bowl team

Visit the Ethic's Bowl Team Page